From Ruby in Silicon Valley, California
Dear Dr. Rosie,
I’m so confused! Though I’m not very fulfilled in my current position within a high tech corporation, I like that if offers me freedom from worry about job security. Even with this economy requiring so much downsizing, I feel secure and that provides me with relief.
On the other hand, I’m feeling like I’m missing out on something. I can’t really put words to it yet, but when I leave the office and am in traffic I begin to wonder what it would be like to have my own business, work at home and be closer to my children and my dog, Ralph. My boss requires me to be at the office, so that particular possibility doesn’t exist for me right now. What am I supposed to do? Should I keep my job and feel disappointed every day or should I risk being on my own, having more freedom and hopefully more fun.
Thanks for your letter.
You are not alone in this dilemma – should I stay or should I go? So many of us want the work we do to be fulfilling to our human spirit. The way most corporate cultures are these day, few offer an environment within which individuals can find themselves truly fulfilled in what they do. Sometimes, the people they work with make it worthwhile, while for others the paycheck is all that it’s about. For others still, none of it feels worthwhile, but they stay because they don’t know what else to do.
What do you Value?
As always, I’ve got some questions for you. A really important question to ask yourself is this: “What do I value most in life?” Make a list of what you value, then put them in order from highest to lowest priority.
From what you’ve shared, Ruby, job security has been really important to you; you put a lot of value in having that. I’m also hearing that being closer to home, to your children and Ralph are also high on your values list. What else is on that list? Right down at least 10 values.
We are always living according to our values, though more often than not we haven’t really distinguished what these values are and if they make sense. Getting clear what your values are will help you make empowering choices.
What’s at Stake?
Once you see what your hierarchy of values is, you then get to choose to choose whether this is really what you want. Again, your highest value may be job security, but the consequences are that you aren’t fulfilled and you miss being with your family. Does job security really outweigh the other values? For some, job security means being overstressed, frustrated and resentful because there isn’t enough personal recognition and incentive. Is job security worth it? Or, you’ve got six children to feed. Job security may be the best thing going for you in service to making sure your kids are healthy and happy. That may be the most fulfilling value of them all!
Fulfillment of the human spirit is what my work is all about. I want every human being I touch to be empowered to find their own unique way of fulfilling themselves so that life and work feels meaningful and purposeful. What’s at stake to live a fulfilling and purpose life for you, Ruby?
Being with the Dilemma
Too often, people want what they want but never take the step to move to what’s next. It’s easier to live in the woulda, coulda, shoulda, until it’s too late. Those moments in the car, Ruby, when you are having the time and space to be with yourself, how do you be with this dilemma of, in a sense, wanting the best of both worlds without risking anything? Most of us distract ourselves from choosing, or we rationalize that having a job is better than no job, or we daydream about what could be, and the moment we get home, the dream world ends and we go back to the real world and woulda, coulda, shoulda. How do you be with your dilemma?
In your letter you mentioned that you were confused. That too is a way to be with the challenge of having two or more things to choose from. What is really hard to do is to actually put a stake in the ground and choose to stay or choose to go. What makes this hard is facing the consequences of choosing. You see, quite often our dreaming keeps us from really being present to our current reality. If we live in “Someday, things will be different,” we never have to be with what is; we never have to come to accept what it is we are choosing; we never have to truly face the consequences of our actions; and, we never have to be accountable or responsible for the way our life turned out.
I would totally support you in accepting that you’ll be staying in your current position and enjoying the job security. The practice is to let go of the dream, for now, and accept the current consequences that are present for you in this moment. It means facing some disappointment, for now. It means putting your energy into making this position as fulfilling as you want to, if you want to. Perhaps it means finding other ways to bring about the fulfillment of your human spirit.
I would also totally support you in choosing to leave your position and let go of your job security, in service of values that may have higher priorities. There are consequences to this choice too – not better or worse consequences, not easier or more challenging consequences – just different consequences. Either way there is a letting go in service to the fulfillment of your human spirit. And, I will add. . . that when you are acting in alignment with your highest truth and fulfilling your human spirit, you are acting in everyone’s highest good! Enjoy the adventure, Ruby.
Author of Self-Empowerment 101